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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Quantify the biophysical capacity of the urban and rural Northeast U.S. to produce food that meets the total demands of the region and the demands of low income (underserved) populations in the region.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Develop and link a series of spatially related databases of soils, climatic parameters, crop production requirements, land use, and consumer demand throughout the Northeast. Work with others to model and predict current and potential crop production as influenced by dietary scenarios, climate change, and land use policies.

3. Progress Report:
The overall goal of our component of the project is to quantify the food production capacity in the Northeast U.S. The general approach for attaining this goal is to develop and link Geographic Information Systems (GIS) of soils, climatic parameters, crop production requirements, and land use parameters to calculate food production capacity. An innovative collection of geodatabases integrating USDA-NRCS (SSURGO) and USDA-NASS Cropland Data Layers for 2008 to 2012 have been developed. These databases bring together all available spatial information on cropping systems and crop production, soils, land use and quality, and water resources. In FY13, county-level, five-year production footprints for key indicator crops (corn, potato, small grains, broccoli, cabbage, soybean, alfalfa, and ‘other hay’) throughout the entire 13-state region were completed. In addition, more in-depth details and profiles of agricultural systems down to the field scale were provided for 13 selected counties throughout the region. Forecast models were developed to account for rotational complexity in various systems and 7-year land-base estimates (summarized at the state-level) for select row and specialty crops have also been completed. These spatially-layered, user-friendly geospatial map products provide integrated information on past and present farmland extents and productivity, and are being used with forecasting models for improving future farm and crop productivity.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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